The position of a person’s jaw can affect their appearance and overall health. Corrective jaw surgery can help ward off a wide range of health problems and create a more symmetrical face. Jaw surgery, otherwise known as orthognathic surgery, can be used to readjust or realign the jaw.
This surgery involves moving the bones of the lower or upper jaw, or both, to create a more harmonious bite. Orthognathic surgery may be recommended if your jaws and teeth do not meet correctly. Due to the complexity of this procedure, it is important to find an experienced oral surgeon. Sedaros Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implants, located in Melbourne, Fl., offers corrective jaw surgery.
Why Is Corrective Jaw Surgery Performed?
Jaw surgery is often recommended to patients that are experiencing jaw issues, which cannot be addressed with orthodontics alone. Corrective jaw surgery can help with a wide range of issues, such as the following:
- Prevent excessive wear and tear on your teeth
- Adjust your bite
- Make activities like biting, chewing, and swallowing easier
- Help ease the pain of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
- Correct conditions that impact the symmetry of your face
- Repair a congenital condition or injury of the face, such as a cleft palate
- Address breathing issues, such as obstructive sleep apnea
What Can Patients Expect During Jaw Surgery?
When preparing for corrective jaw surgery, your dentist, oral maxillofacial surgeon, and/or orthodontist will work together to develop a custom treatment plan. Orthodontic treatment is often needed both before and after jaw surgery to help prepare the bite pre-surgery and optimize the bite post-surgery.
To prepare for surgery, an orthodontist may start the process of correcting the position of the teeth for the new position of the jaws. During this treatment, a patient may notice that their bite appears more misaligned. However, once the surgery is performed the patient’s bite will fit together correctly.
For a small percentage of patients, surgery is performed without pre-orthodontic care and orthodontic treatment is only provided after surgery. This unique approach will depend on several factors, such as the extent of the jaw misalignment and the condition of the teeth.
What Conditions Can Jaw Surgery Help Correct?
A patient’s jaw can be corrected through a variety of techniques, such as grafting, reshaping, or removal of bone. Screws and surgical plates can help hold the jaws in a new position, while rubber bands and wires are often used in conjunction with a person’s braces to support the new jaw placement as the bones heal.
One common condition that jaw surgery can help correct is an open bite. An open bite occurs when the lower and upper front teeth lean outwards. When biting down or when the mouth is closed, the teeth do not touch. To correct an open bite, a patient may need one to two surgeries with the goal of moving the jaws towards one another.
Another common condition in which corrective jaw surgery can help is the movement of the jaw forward or backward. To surgically correct a protruding lower jaw, also known as an underbite, the bone located in the back of the lower jaw is separated from the front portion. It is then modified to allow the front portion of the jaw to be moved back into the proper position.
The lower jaw can also be moved forward to achieve more aesthetically-pleasing facial symmetry and resolve painful symptoms like headaches and earaches. To surgically correct a protruding lower jaw, the lower jaw bone and its base are separated. The chin and lower jaw are then repositioned forward for proper alignment of a person’s bite.
Sedaros Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implants offers a wide range of dental procedures, such as wisdom tooth removal, dental implants, bone grafting, and full-mouth restoration. For more information about corrective jaw surgery or to request a consultation for treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sedaros online or call 321.610.7868.